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BBC John Whittingdale

BBC Trust replacement board to feature a majority of government appointed staff


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

March 13, 2016 | 2 min read

Government ministers are primed to make up a large part of body designed to run the BBC, according to the Sunday Times.

Culture secretary, John Whittingdale has admitted that only two or three members of a new ‘unitary-board’ formed of around 13 individuals will be BBC staff, with the rest set to be selected by the government.

The news follows a government review calling for the scrapping of the BBC Trust earlier this month, looking to end the BBC’s history of self-regulation.

The report stated: “The BBC should have a unitary board charged with responsibility for meeting the obligations placed on it under the royal charter and agreement, and responsibility for the interests of licence fee payers.”

Furthermore, it urged that “regulatory oversight should pass wholly to Ofcom”.

Whittingdale told the Times: “I don’t think the government appointing the BBC non-execs would compromise their independence.”

Lord Tony Hall, the BBC’s director-general said earlier: “It doesn’t feel to me that these tasks should be undertaken by government- appointed board members. The BBC is one of the world’s great public service broadcasters — not a state broadcaster.”

BBC John Whittingdale

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